Imagine if Bob Cousy could tell you he and Bill Russell were beginning to advance in age and he knew his chance at winning another ring would eventually be closing. Imagine if Michael Jordan could list the teams that were in contention for the NBA title when he was playing in his prime?
This world that you just imagined is what it feels like to cover sports in the 21st century whether you're a writer or fan in general. With the power of mediums such as Twitter, blogs, and Facebook, we've gotten as close as ever to the players we follow. Some players, like San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili, like to use technology to build a closer relationship with his fans, where as a player like Tim Duncan would still prefer his outside life to privacy.
Ginobili is a very active NBA player on Twitter as he is someone who updates daily or will even do a video chat in the off season. Now, he's gone a step further and released his own written articles for the site Canchellana.com. In his latest piece, Ginobili gives some details about how he felt he hasn't played competitive basketball since the FIBA Americas tournament in September, his stance on the shortened NBA season, and why he feels his team is amongst the elite in the NBA with a chance to win another NBA championship.
Ginobili on the physical shape of some of his teammates and himself during the lockout:
Some players went to other countries, but most remained without competition and it will cost. Luckily I had in between the Olympic qualifiers in Mar del Plata and was able to play seriously at least until Sept. 12, but then made me difficult to maintain a high pace. As much as I trained with Weber Student Bay, it is not the same as playing.
Ginobili on the rough schedule that lies ahead in the shortened NBA season:
Facing 66 games in 122 days will have their pros and cons for us. We favor the fact that we maintain about the same team and style of play, when other players havechanged teams and many struggle to find their rhythm. The downside is that it will be exhausting for a team with some veterans like Tim and I, 35 and 34 years, we are important in the functioning of the team.
Still, more or less, everyone will have something like that. What can hurt the one hand the other can benefit you.
Ginobili giving his thoughts on the potential of his new teammates, T.J. Ford, Kawhi Leonard, and Cory Joseph:
Gone from last year's squad areGeorge Hill and Antonio McDyess and TJ Ford arrived as backup point guard, a small player, explosive, and has a scoring game. Cory Joseph, a Canadian, who was in the Olympic qualifiers, which will be the third guardand has much potential. And the other is Kawhi Leonard, an explosive forward, athletic, long arms and variety of moves. It remains to find a centerto take the place of McDyess.
Ginobili on why he feels his team still has a chance at claiming the crown in June,
I know nobody picks us as the favorites, but the same thing happened last season and ended up winning 61 of the 82 regular season games. In Dallas neither took picked them and werechampions. I think we are in the group of the top eight, along with Miami, the Lakers, Oklahoma, Dallas, Boston and Chicago. Key will start strong, winning several matches early.